The head of the American Republican Party has one of the strangest names you will ever encounter: Reince Priebus. The Onion mocked it with the headline: "Reince Priebus Forced Back Into Ancient Puzzle Box After Being Tricked Into Saying Name Backwards":
Startled sources at a GOP fundraiser confirmed Thursday that after being duped into saying his own name backwards, ancient elfin mischief-maker and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was cast back into the gilded puzzle box that has confined him for millennia.
Priebus, a wily, mystical creature who has reportedly carried out right-wing political trickery at numerous points throughout recorded history, was said to be delivering a speech on traditional family values when he unthinkingly read the words “Subeirp Ecnier” aloud off the teleprompter, immediately causing the lights in the Omni Hotel to flicker and sending a powerful, chilling wind through the convention hall.
This weirdness, like so much other weirdness, came from the Fatherland, according to a recent New York Times profile:
“Priebus” is a German name, pronounced like the Toyota Prius with a “b” stuck in the middle. Reince (short for Reinhold, rhymes with “pints”) is 44 but has an older-man’s vibe.
Reinhold! Now that's old school, for an American of German ancestry. Clearly the Priebus family is proud of its German roots. Two things struck me as a bit odd. First, I've never encountered the name Priebus or anything like it here in Germany -- although it's a big country. Second, no German in their right mind would abbreviate Reinhold as Reince, right? I'm thinking Reini.